Prayer Concerning a Grand Finale

Shani Ferguson
By Shani Ferguson
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Israeli people receive COVID-19 test at a drive-through complex in Jerusalem. credit: Shutterstock, gilmagen.com.

If I had to describe the feeling Israeli officials are communicating publicly (and not so publicly) I would call it “hope for a grand finale”. The Omicron variant was first discovered in South Africa by a team that (of course ☺) included an Israeli scientist. As far as we’re being told, this variant tends to stay in the throat area rather than burrowing deep into the lungs, which is why it is so contagious and also why it doesn’t cause nearly as many hospitalizations.

It also seems to have no problem infecting the vaccinated, unvaccinated and recovered so there’s no real hindrance as it spreads. And as such, while no one is wishing ill on anyone, the “powers that be” in Israel are hopeful that its spread will happen so fast that it will in essence burn itself out and give Israelis that much-desired herd immunity.  If this theory plays out, Israel will experience a very intense and potentially vulnerable beginning of 2022 but then move into a place of normalcy and stability. To be clear, this isn’t so much a planned strategy by Israel’s government but rather preparation for an inevitability.

The variant is indeed spreading quickly and several of our staff are out with the virus. With Israel’s enemies always watching constantly for any moment of weakness, this is a time to cover Israel with prayers for protection from its spiritual and physical enemies.

He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you (Israel) — the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going (Psalm 121:4-8)

Praying for Israel through John 15

  • Father, thank You for showing us Your character and nature through Your Word. 
  • You are not distant; You are close, closer than we can comprehend. Your word says that if we draw near to You, You will draw near to us. (James 4:8) You desire a relationship with us.
  • Help us to be sincere and honest with You in our prayers. 

 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.” (John 15:1)

  • You are ALIVE, seated at the right hand of the Father. You are living and active, not only hearing our prayers but moving in our lives and in the nation of Israel.
  • Help us stay connected to Your living vine. We cannot live apart from You.
  • Draw Israelis who have never known a life connected with You to those who have.
  • For prodigals who once were in relationship with You, may they be dissatisfied with the life they are living. 

“Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.” (John 15:2-3)

  • Father, thank You for loving us enough to prune us. You are a wise and patient vinedresser. The pain of pruning is evidence of Your love for us.
  • For ministries and congregations in Israel who have gone through a season of pruning over the past two years, help them see the circumstances from Your vantage point and trust You with the process of pruning. We trust You in every area You are cutting back to produce fruit. 
  • Help Maoz and other members of the Body in Israel to bear fruit that will last.

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5)

  • We acknowledge that Israel is nothing—and can do nothing—without You.  Show her how to abide in You.
  • Help us to know what “abiding” means to You. We ourselves repent for being too busy, rushed, and overwhelmed to seek Your way and we make decisions according to our own desires. Give us Your wisdom as we plan for a new calendar year through the lens of abiding in You. 
  • You are the One who sustains us. Help us to receive Your spiritual strength and power for fruitfulness.

If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” (John 15:6-8)

  • Yeshua, we do not want to be separated from You.  Remove the things that are getting in the way of our abiding in You.
  • We pray for a renewed passion for Your word today. If we lack hunger for Your word, help us become passionate about reading and hiding it in our hearts. 
  • For those in Israel who have read the Tanakh out of duty or routine, let Your words come alive today. Help them finally see You as Messiah in the stories they have known from childhood. 
  • Show believers in Israel how to make disciples in their circle of influence—and most importantly, in their own families. 
  • Let the fruit of our lives be great so we may glorify the Father.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love … My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:9-10,12)

  • Father, help us receive and experience the incomprehensible love You offer so freely, and give that same love to others.
  • Help us keep your commandments, compelled out of our love for You. 
  • Help us represent You in the way we interact with people. We want to be spirit-led in our day-to-day lives. Show us how to love supremely and lay down our lives for You and others.

“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11)

  • Thank you for the true, genuine joy You offer through a life lived in communion with You. 
  • May Your joy in us be evidence to us that we are abiding in You. May it provoke and inspire others to want to abide in You.
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